In 2011, Asghar Farhadi’s brilliantly complex divorce drama A Separation won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the same category his new movie, the equally wonderful The Salesman (our review), is nominated in this year. But the film’s star, Taraneh Alidoosti, who’s widely hailed as one of Iran’s most accomplished actresses, won’t be anywhere near Hollywood on February 26. She’s boycotting the Oscars over President Donald Trump’s plan to restrict “immigration and access to the United States for refugees and some visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.”
“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist,” Alidoosti tweeted on Thursday. “Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest.” (Farhadi and her co-star Shahab Hosseini have yet to comment.) Between Constance Wu noting that “Casey Affleck’s win will be a nod to Trump’s,” and now Alidoosti’s boycott, the 89th Academy Awards is proving to be an effective platform for voicing discontent with President Trump. Though I guess we should have seen that coming, considering Meryl Streep’s damning acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.
After Trump laid out his proposed visa ban, the National Iranian American Council released the following statement: “This is discriminatory. This is un-American. And last but not least: This is dangerous as it pits Americans against Americans while undermining the very principles of inclusivity and tolerance that define America. We will not be silent and will use every resource at our disposal to fight these shameful actions and protect the values and people who make America great.”